ANNE Hathaway will be discussing a familiar to many festive dilemma in the run up to Christmas.
Mrs Shakespeare and her brother Bartholomew will return to the cottage in Shottery where their family lived for 400 years.
Costumed actors will transport visitors to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage back in time to 1615 to see the siblings locked in a discussion around the kitchen table. The topic – who will host Christmas? Will it be at Bartholomew’s cottage in the country, or a fancy town do at Anne and William’s New Place, the second largest house in Stratford?
The living history performances will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout December, between midday and 4pm, giving an insight into the relationship between Anne and her elder brother.
Visitors will also be able to try traditional Tudor food as they help decide who hosts Christmas Day.
The costumes have been designed and made by volunteer and costume design student Samera Abid.
The Hathaway family had been tenants of what was originally known as Hewlands Farm for almost 70 years when Bartholomew purchased the freehold in 1610, and it is possible William and Anne gave him the money to buy and extend the house. It was bought by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1892, but the family remained as tenants until 1911.
Emily White, house steward, said “Thirteen generations of the Hathaways lived at the cottage across 400 years, so we have many stories of the family’s life here to tell. We hope our visitors will relish the chance to get an insight into their lives from Anne and her brother Bartholomew.”
Visit www.shakespeare.org.uk for full details of Christmas events at the Shakespeare properties in and around Stratford.
Bartholomew Hathaway and Anne Shakespeare will be back at their family home this December. Photo Simon Hadley (SBT).